Failed Candidate Tom Fiegen Calls On Defeating ALL Democrats

Former U.S. Senate candidate Tom Fiegen has not taken his blowout defeat in this month’s primary very well. After receiving a mere 6.8% of the vote in a four-way primary (a regression from his 9.4% total in the 2010 Senate primary), Fiegen refused to congratulate or endorse his opponents. A few weeks later, he officially left the Democratic Party. Now he’s calling on his voters to reject all Democrats running for office, up and down the ballot.

Fiegen was a vocal supporter of Bernie Sanders during his Senate run. Since the end of the national primaries, some of Sanders’ most ardent supporters have had a difficult time in unifying with the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton as the certain nominee. But none have seemed to go as far as Fiegen now is – believing that Sanders voters should not only vote third party in the presidential race, but should reject Democratic candidates at the local level as well.

Fiegen sent out this tweet early Sunday afternoon:

Fiegen Tweet 1

Often throughout the Senate primary, Fiegen declared himself to be the only “pure” candidate, even attacking State Senator Rob Hogg – the state’s most respected advocate for climate change – as a fraud. Now it appears Fiegen thinks all Democratic candidates, whether they’re running for State House, County Supervisor, or school board, are all corrupt. Apparently everyone is a fraud when compared to Fiegen.

Of course, if the “progressive” voters who backed him were to do so, they would be voting against hundreds of actual progressive leaders who have accomplished real results at the state and local level. It would ensure Republicans have complete control over Iowa. And while some of Fiegen’s most extreme supporters think there’s no difference, they would do well to be reminded of the Democrats fighting against Branstad’s mental health closures, for increased education funding and in favor of expanded solar and wind energy.

And in almost all cases they’d simply have no one to vote for. There are exceedingly few third party candidates in local races in Iowa. And most are of the libertarian variety, not the socialist type.

So Fiegen would essentially be taking the great energy and enthusiasm that came out of the Sanders campaign, which has already made a real impact on moving the Democratic Party leftwards (if not completely to their satisfaction yet), and throwing it all away in one big hissy fit.

That type of critical thinking, however, may not be going on in Fiegen’s head these days. His social media posting of late has descended into an ugly stream of rants and re-tweets of angry anti-Democratic nonsense. Among them were suggestions that President Barack Obama should be indicted along with Clinton, a tweet mocking the Democrats partaking in the U.S. House sit-in for gun control, and crude photoshopped pictures of Clinton herself.

Fiegen Tweet 2

Fiegen Tweet 5

Fiegen Tweet 4

Fiegen has also delighted in using blatantly sexist language and imagery as well since losing out to Patty Judge in the primary. He has called her on social media “BIG Pig Patty Judge.” He’s ostensibly referring to what he sees as her stances on hog confinement operations, but any real progressive would know calling a female candidate a “pig” in any way is incredibly sexist and just plain dumb.

He also seems to enjoy sexist depictions of Clinton, of which he has often re-tweeted:

Fiegen Tweet 3

[Edit 7:15: shortly after posting this piece, he had a new round of interesting re-tweets, including this one:]

Fiegen Tweet 6

Where Fiegen goes from here is unclear, and John Deeth wonders if he might launch an independent Senate candidacy out of spite. Regardless, it is certain he is now doing much more to undermine the issues he purportedly supports by encouraging people to go on a cynical and vindictive attack against any and all Democrats.

The next question in this annoying saga may go to former Fiegen supporters themselves. He had a few activists in the state backing his bid, including some Sanders supporters who subsequently ran for elected positions within the Iowa Democratic Party. Will they publicly reject Fiegen’s descent into a mission to destroy that very party? And why should any Democrat trust their judgment in leadership roles when they backed such an angry, counterproductive man in the primary?

Hopefully people will learn some lessons from this affair. There were a lot of new, idealistic voters who entered politics this year. Any of us around for a while could have told you that candidates like Fiegen, who insist on their own purity, conduct nasty, ad hominem attacks on his opponents, has a background of pro-life support, and who fails to run a serious campaign is clearly a candidate whose mission will not end well, and who no one should have trusted in the first place.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 6/23/16

23 Comments on "Failed Candidate Tom Fiegen Calls On Defeating ALL Democrats"

    • Since when is the truth, trashing? Kirk, your comment sounds like what the Republicans do! Same old, same old. Ho hum boring.

  • So I guess the question is this: what’s the point of this post? There’s a lot of stick here – associational guilt, accusations of disloyalty, negative pressure. You freely acknowledge that a lot of Sanders supporters have surged forth to positions within the state and local Democratic party apparatus. Not much carrot, and certainly no coaxing or romance.

    • Well, for one, it’s newsworthy that a former Senate candidate turns against the party just a few weeks after losing. But the larger point I hope to make with this is to get folks to think through their candidate choices a little more critically in the future. Fiegen was obviously not a legitimate candidate in many ways, just using the Sanders bandwagon for his own gain. Just in the same way with John Edwards – people fell for a candidate who was clearly much too slick and who changed his policy focus in his second run. If people want to take every negative post about Fiegen as an attack on Sanders folks as a whole, that’s their choice. It’s certainly not the purpose of piece as a whole.

      • IMHO your story is newsworthy with a one paragraph exception. The next to last paragraph is just a cheap shot.

        • “And why should any Democrat trust their judgment in leadership roles when they backed such an angry, counterproductive man in the primary?” sounds remarkably sane to me… When are we going to acknowledge that the manic and unstable nature of the current political milieu and many of its practitioners represents the very type pf chaos we civilized ourselves in the first place to overcome? Extremists have taken over the entire process, mostly due to a compliant media that depends on The Absurd to titillate their vapid viewers.
          And while it has always been a refuge for big egos, since the tea mob took over, politics has become the haunt of unbound and outrageous egos, and here is one of them.

      • On the day after the primary, Tom Fiegen was a marginalized two-time loser in state party politics whom never had support. All he had was cache with a minority of the Sanders-left. What did he gain? What does he gain now?
        And instead of John Edwards, why don’t you compare him to Ed Fallon or Dennis Kucinich? Or let’s go for broke – Ralph Nader. Because this article is the kind of attack you see on these figures. The Democratic Party plays a game in that these enforcements of party loyalty *are* construed, and used, as attacks on left-edge voters who’d like to have a home in the Party, while denying that ideology has nothing to do with the attacks.
        All of the figures I mention committed the sin of criticizing the Party. And we all know what Sanders has done in this primary race. I know when the negative party loyalty narrative is being used.

  • So, your whole schtick here is business as usual….and that is exactly what a lot of folks in the Sanders camp are sick of. I spent a weekend in Chicago with 3000 Sanders supporters at the Peoples Summit and I can tell you…they would not in my opinion think Tom’s positions are meant to destroy the party.It’s holding a party accountable for its descent into entrenched policy and thinking.
    Supporting the TPP and fracking alone is enough to make me gag. But to refuse to push for a $15/hr minimum wage is elitism for sure. Enjoy your ride with the Establishment Dems…it’s gonna be a quick and short fall at this rate.

    • So you would vote against every single down-ballot Democrat just to make a point? You would vote out real progressive champions at the local level who have fought for and accomplished real results, even in places where Republicans control some branches of government? Because that is what he is advocating for.

  • I was a Sanders supporter. I caucused for him, and I went to my county convention as his delegate. I am NOT a fan of Judge. I voted Krause. But it is imperative that we flip the senate…SCOTUS should show this…so whether or not we like Judge, at least she caucuses with dems. Grassley has been awful. We need to get him out. I’m fine with baby steps and holding what we have rather than regressing. We can’t go backwards overnight, particularly to spite our faces. I’m not happy with the DNC or the platform committee. But they are still better than the alternative and as the author said, there are plenty of good dems. Shame on Fiegen for this. Particularly to believe anyone with a D is automatically bad. Most strive for social change. Color me disgusted.

  • Tom Fiegen shares the same disconnect and disenfranchisement that millions of Americans feel.Tune into Philly late next month and see but you probably won’t see it on mainstream media.But there will be those there live streaming and reporting the dissent.We are tired of corporate democracy! I know Tom and he did not mean to include all Dem candidates in this category just the ones who are ok with their party and government being bought.We reform this party or sink it.

    • You might as well vote for Trump then. go take over the green party or something. If you can’t control the party, with 6,8% of the vote, you want to destroy it. You are in the minority, you don’t get to control things. Your ego that says everybody else is wrong has no place in the dem party. Millions aren’t enough, you need tens of millions of votes. You are fringe, accept it.

      • You are a conformist and complicit in supporting a corrupt political system.I am not going to support unethical candidates anymore regardless of what polarizing label they go by.Change starts here.Now.With us!

  • I don’t quite understand why Tom is so angry. He put his name out there and no one was buying what he was selling. That said, if he runs as an independent he has my vote….if for no other reason than it stops me from voting for Grassley. Dropping Patty on a bunch of lazy party leaders was a horse s*** play. I won’t spend one minute or one dime on any races in IA other than Loebsack’s (I like him personally).

  • Many of us are dropping out of the Democrat party. It is not our problem the party/establishment put up crummy candidates. Judge? You have got to be kidding! Hardly anyone is going to vote for her. Yes, I’ll grudgingly vote for Hillary just because the Pubs despise her so. So we will have 4 or 8 more years of turmoil, hate, total disfunction in Congress, and many even riots all over the USA. But that is what the DNC wants. Because Hillary will play the game and treat the rich corporations and the banks very well and bring in those billions to the DNC like a good little puppet. And we will have even worse wage inequality than we do now. Hey, but the Clinton’s will become billionaires! And that is all Bill and Hillary care about.

    • You know little of what Bill and Hillary Clinton have done. All you now are republican/Sanders talking points. Patty Judge won but she’s not pure enough for you Sanders tea party fans.
      And Bernie wouldn’t get total disfunction in Congress if he won? Get real!

  • Oh, and of course, Tom Fiegen is going to vote for Democrats. But like the rest of us, he is going to only vote for the ones who have our ideology and not sell-outs to corporations that will stuff the most money in their pockets. I voted for Tom and I voted for Desmund and instead we got stuck with corporate hacks who bow down to the corrupt DNC.

  • No he’s not. He said quite plainly he wasn’t going to vote for any dem and didn’t want anyone too. is he a liar?
    I voted for Desmund. does he approve of what you’re doing?

  • Cheap shot: “And why should any Democrat trust their judgment in leadership roles when they backed such an angry, counterproductive man in the primary?” Apparently you are saying they should have foreseen that he would be a nasty sore loser, and that reflects on them, not him? That’s a stretch. I agreed with Tom on a lot of issues, disagreed on some, and he was not behaving like an idiot before the election. I never supported him, but I understand why some people did. But hey, Unity™!

    • That’s simply not true – there were tons of warning signs from Fiegen well in advance of the election. He repeatedly attacked his opponents with over-the-top rhetoric, including calling Rob Hogg a con job on the environment. He didn’t put together a serious campaign that could have won an election. Many activists had talked about uncomfortable interactions between him and women at events.

      So yes, I really do think people should have foreseen the path he’s on – perhaps not quite to this extent, but that he would be completely unproductive.

      So I do believe it’s a legitimate concern – if someone backs incredibly bad candidates in the primary, do they have a good sense for politics? Fiegen told a certain set of activists everything they wanted to hear, with visibly no record or infrastructure to back it up, along with some questionable past policy stances. Politicians who tell you 100% of what you want are questionable in the first place – whether it be middle-of-the-road types who make it sound like their policies will have no bad trade-offs, or whether it’s a liberal candidate promising the world to progressives.

      Many have criticized the party and its leadership to no ends this year (a lot of which I agree with). But when someone comes back and questions the choices of the activists not in power, but who want to be, it’s a cheap shot? Give me a break.

  • Many down-the-ticket Democrats support Bernie, so Fiegen is mistaken about that. I’ve followed Bernie since before his campaign began, and have seen nothing from him that conflicts with the 2014 Iowa Democratic Platform, so who are the real Democrats? Not true for other candidates.

  • Two things I hate more than Hillary/the DNC/democrats are the Republican Party/Republicans and also the so called “liberally corporate”, business as usual, ‘fat cat’ media like newspapers, radio, tv….
    This is one sick, corrupt country, & I’m sick of it all. How’s that for happy, positive thoughts of an optimistic American who’s not dumbed-down nor ill-informed? The revolution can’t start fast enough for me, like getting rid of guns, stopping violence/bullying/hate/divisiveness/selfishness/greed/separation. And that’s just the beginning. The greatest adversary/problem to the democrats & Hillary? Debbie Wasserman! The next greatest problem to democrats & America (since tRump is not favored to win) is…Hillary. She is her own worse enemy & really her only real enemy. Only SHE can lose. Only she is to blame for her challenging, weak campaign, besides all the powers to be, establishment, business as usual. Why do we even have democracy & just have the rich & powerful tell us who are our leaders will be from behind smoked-filled rooms. If what we have now IS democracy, then dictatorship could be better than showing all the selfish, greedy, power-hungry manipulation of these ‘honorable’ Americans. Dictators not like tRump but like FDR. This has been a hopeless American institution, & it’s designed to suck the life & energy out of America & Americans. For the nominations? tRump wins? Clinton wins? How sick. And look at all the Republican losers – all terrible nighmares. yikes.

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